The past couple of days in Paris have been pretty busy and filled with people and places. This city is as big as just about any city we have visited, other than probably Istanbul. The amount of sites that there are to see, from the Louvre to the Musee D’Orsay to The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame to the Arc de Triumphe and so many different neighborhoods. On Wednesday we spent much of the morning and early afternoon in the apartment getting schoolwork done and I walked to a ticket office to get our Louvre tickets that we purchased in-line. Once we finally got out of the apartment we had a 3 pm walking tour of Paris scheduled which started at the Opera House. Our tour guide was a native Parisian and he took us around for a bit over 2 hours.
We spent a good 30 minutes around the Opera House, talking about how it was built and why. We heard about the architect, Haussemann, who restructured the city a few hundred years ago. He tore down 25% of Paris and opened up wide streets and built hundreds of buildings that still stand today. After that we headed toward the high rent shopping district and then ended our tour in Tuilerie Gardens, one of the largest parks in all of Paris. On one end of the park is the Louvre and across the river from the park is the Musee D’Orsay. Straight down the Champs Elysee is the Arc de Triumph and a great view of the Eiffel Tower. We got to see many of the historic sights from a distance and then headed back towards our neighborhood via subway to get some dinner. We found a little Asian restaurant and everyone was happy to head back and call it a day.
On Thursday I had scheduled a meeting with a blind golfer, Jeremy Poincenot, from San Diego who I recently met virtually. He was introduced to me by a good friend when I told them we were looking to assemble a group of Millenials that want to become public speakers. Jeremy is already a speaker but at the beginning of his career. He was planning to come through Paris the same time we were and we scheduled lunch in District 6. We will meet again in San Diego in July when we are both back in town. In addition, I ended up also meeting my old family friend, Jeremy Schuster, for breakfast as well. So, it was a day filled with Jeremys.
I returned to the apartment to complete a coaching call and then we headed to the D’Orsay for our first museum in Paris. We arrived around 6:30 pm as the museum stays open until 9:30 on Thursdays. We headed straight for the top floor of the museum as we were told that’s where all the good stuff, the Impressionists, paintings are. We spent a couple of hours touring the museum and then decided to walk to the Jewish section for some felafel for dinner. Jeremy Schuster had pointed out the best felafel restaurant in all of Paris earlier in the day and we decided to give it a try. We are glad we did. The only problem is that Noah doesn’t eat felafel, so we headed off to find him dinner and decided that ice cream would be a good substitute. We found the top rated ice cream in the city, called Bethillon, behind Notre Dame. Ilise and Noah’s feet were really hurting them from all our walking so they rented a couple of bicycles from the city bike system and road them while Drew and I walked. After the ice cream we headed over to check out Notre Dame.
After the obligatory pictures Ilise and Noah went back to the apartment with the bikes while Drew and I stayed to watch some street performers. One of the performers was warming up by rolling an acrylic ball up and down his arms, almost like he was one with the glass orb. It was truly magical and Drew was just mesmerized. They started their show with some loud music and the other performer twirling a large baton that was on fire on both ends. For the next 15 minutes we were entertained by these two street artists and saw an amazing show. Drew got some awesome pictures of the fire and we really enjoyed ourselves. We returned to the apartment exhausted and I went straight to bed. It has been a long few days with lots of walking and things to see. We have two more days of Paris and then our flight on Sunday morning. All in all, I can’t imagine a better ending to this journey.
To a life well lived!